The towering German defender will fill the void left by the recently injured Mikel Arteta for the Gunners match against Aston Villa.
Arsenal have confirmed via their official Twitter account that Per Mertesacker will captain the side on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
The decision was made after it was revealed that vice-captain Mikel Arteta will miss the first six weeks of the season with a thigh tear.
Club captain Thomas Vermaelen has been ruled out for opening weekend since mid-July after aggravating a back injury.
The injuries to those two key players means that Per Mertesacker finds himself as the most experience player ready to take to the Emirates pitch against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The giant German turns 29 later this year and, after a shaky stat in Arsenal colours, found himself emerging as a fan favourite during his side’s unbeaten run in the final stages of the 2012-13 season.
Arsenal’s squad woes have been well documented so far this summer. With former squad players such as Gervinho, Marouane Chamakh, Andrei Arshavin, Andre Santos and Johan Djourou all being shown the exit this summer, Arsenal suddenly find themselves incredibly thin on the ground in terms of available players.
Combine those departures with injuries to Arteta, Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal (back), Abou Diaby (knee), and the questionable fitness following the international break of midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla and the strength of the Arsenal starting XI hangs by a thread.
Arsenal fans’ fears should not rest with the capability of Mertesacker, a 91-time German international, to captain the side, but rather with manager Arsene Wenger’s seeming inability to attract any more talent to the squad this summer.